How Do I Stop My Boyfriend From Breaking Up With Me?

Question: Thank you for everything you’re doing. This is by far the best advice site and blog on authentic relationships.

My story in brief is that for 3 years I have been hiding my true feelings, lying about who I’m with and where I’ve been and generally playing mind games with this one man whom I love very much. I just don’t know how to stop. I’ve been unsuccessful in making a long-term relationship work because I’m afraid of getting hurt. I still remember the pain and don’t want to get hurt again.

He told me he’s fed up with the evasiveness and lies if they don’t stop he’ll break up with me. How do I start being real with him? I don’t want to lose this most wonderful man too.

Yangki’s Answer: I admire your candidness. It’s almost hard to believe you’re not this open and honest in your relationships.

The potentially great something you’re missing out on is that feeling of true connectedness. True connectedness, love and intimacy are dependent on psychological safety. But you can’t get to that place of “safety” if you’re creating distractions, lying and hiding from the one thing you want most.

A good place to end the mind games would be to start by telling him what you just wrote here. That you’re afraid of getting hurt so you create a buffer of distractions – evasiveness, lies and mind games – to protect yourself. But by so doing you realize that you’re missing out on that true connectedness.

This will not come easy. Even just thinking of telling him feels like “asking to get hurt”. Your mind will come up with all sorts of reasons and “evidence” as to why being direct and honest is a bad idea. But despite all the fear-filled reasons, opening up completely about who you really are, sharing your fears and insecurities as well as your joys and desires will feel almost like a big huge load has been lifted off your back just by being honest.

I won’t lie that there is no risk to being real, true and honest. There is a potential risk, that’s why it’s only for the brave at heart and for those who sincerely seek the experience of love and not just the illusion of it. Sometimes the other person just can’t handle it even if they thought they could. Other times, especially if the other person has never experienced that type of vulnerability may not know what to do with it. But this is not about him, this is about you – living your truth and giving him the opportunity to love you just as you are. In an unintended way, it’s a test of his own authenticity (and his love).

That said, this is not about testing his love for you, this is about your “coming out”.  So try not to make this about him, fear of losing him or even try to justify why you play mind games. Just lay it out there and let him process the information in his own time, way and pace (no expectations or demands that he responds or reacts a certain way). And try as much as possible not to worry or overanalyze what is given and what is taken. Simply let your ‘truth” out and give all that you can, then receive all that is offered (without over-analyzing it).

With more practice and consistently choosing to face your worst fears and be real instead of creating distractions, you get more confident, more authentic and more transparently attractive. The result is a relationship built entirely on honesty (no pretenses) and more genuine “connectedness.”

Once you’ve “tasted” that great something that genuine and true connectedness offers, you’ll never want to go back to lies and mind games. Never! It’s that GOOD.

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14 Comments

  • I’m the type that usually doesn’t say anything and just suffer someone’s actions/behaviour in silence. I read your post a couple of days ago and made a decision to start expressing my feelings directly and openly. So yesterday when my bf was being really “hard” on me each time he responded harshly or arrogantly to a question that I asked, I told him that he was being harsh and unpleasant to me. It was really amazing to see the effect that expressing my feelings had: he calmed down and apologized. I was particularly VERY proud of myself that I was attentive to my feelings. It’s a small step, but one that made me feel more valid and empowered. Thank you for being the teacher you are!

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    • Good for you. The more you express how you feel the easier and more natural it becomes. The only thing I might add is that instead of just saying “you’re being hard on me” which seems to put you back into the victim role, the same thing you’re trying to avoid, something like “I’d appreciate it if you showed me some respect/consideration/appreciation” etc. or something along those lines, is more assertive, positive and empowered.

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  • I’ve had so many times when I’ve tried to keep everything TOPSECRET because of some superstitious beliefs.It’s as though I were afraid that if I spoke my deepest desires & fears out loud they would disappear & no longer be able to come true. Also I’ve been extremely guarded with men I love not really telling them I like them and every time I’ve ended up alone. Men have told me I’m cold and boring.

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  • it’s good to be true and honest but sometimes the other person not knowing what you really feel gives you the emotional power in the relationship. if he knows all your feelings then he will take advantage of you.

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    • That’s the other school of thought; the one that encourages emotional dishonesty and mind games. But here is the thing. Most people who play the “hide what you really feel” game are also the most frustrated in relationships because their emotional needs are not being met.

      The person who has the confidence to look into the other’s eyes and share the loving feelings he/she is experiencing; and has the honesty and courage to say “I don’t feel good about” this or that in a calm, gentle and non confrontational manner has the “emotional-power” in the relationship.

      Why? Because he or she will have his/her emotional needs acknowledged, shared and addressed/attended to. That’s “emotional power!”

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  • Many men don’t trust women and for good reason. I for one, I’ve been taken advantage of by women, walked all over and cast aside at whim and picked up again when they need a shoulder to cry on. I stopped trusting all women until I realized that I was part of the problem. I let these women use me because I lacked self confidence and self esteem. So I worked on my confidence and self esteem and that trust for women is slowly coming back but I’m still very suspicious of their motivations.

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    • I so agree with you… trust is key. Trust begins with a genuine interest in the other person’s well being – not just what you can get, trick or manipulate out of them for your own benefit.

      I’m happy for you that you came to the realization that not all victims are unwilling victims, and we have to own up to our own actions. All the very best!

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  • I spent the last one week reading your whole website and blog and I wish I had found this site two months ago. I lost the only man I love and will probably ever love because of all the things you say we should never do in relationships. If I had another chance to start all over with him, I’d follow your advice.

    Thank you for this awesome resource. God bless you for all you do for others.

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    • Hindsight is human. It’s important though to remember that the only mistakes we make in life are those that we never learn anything from. If you’re trying to get that “another chance” with him, I hope you take the lessons you’ve learned from the experience and make it work this time.

      One of my clients said it best” It is not about getting the person back, it’s about correcting what went wrong and making you and your relationship healthy and happy”.

      If not, those lessons are still just as important in your next relationship.

      I receive the blessings with humility… thank you.

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  • I hid my true feelings from my bf too. About a month ago, I gathered the courage to tell him how I truly feel and since he’s become distant. I think my mistake was not giving him enough time to process the information in his own time and way. My own fear overtook me and I kept pushing for answers and a response because I thought he was going to break up with me. I also think may be I did not time it well because his mother is ill and he said he had more pressing issues in his life which angered me because I did not feel important. I’m afraid I pushed him away. I should have just spoken my truth and left it at that.

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  • I’m a male, mid 40s, dated many women but I have never had a deep emotional connection with anyone of the opposite sex. I just don’t think any of them can handle my “truth.” Don’t get me wrong, I’ve tried but each time I end up running the women off. The only woman I know who is capable of handling my “truth” is my therapist but she’s in her 50’s and happily married for over 30 yrs + I’m not physically attracted to her.

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    • I don’t know what your “truth” is and will not try to make sweeping ignorant statements about it. My personal believe is that unless it’s something like murder, pedophilia, getting it on only during rape, sexual attraction to animals, or something equally off-turning, most people can handle other’s truth when given in small progressive doses over time and as interest and trust develops instead of “Nothing but the whole truth, so help me God!” one big lapload.

      No one – man or woman – really enjoys being their partner’s “therapist”. I don’t think that is even possible as it often puts a strain on the attraction/chemistry part of the relationship. I’ve talked to quite a few women and men who say they love the person they are with but just can’t stand the “emotional dependency” or get overwhelmed “playing therapist”.

      Also if you begin from a mindset that says, no woman can handle my truth, you’ll tend to gravitate towards women who indeed can’t. Self prophesy kind of thing.

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